Simone Le Grand

Located:
Engelberg

Home Town:
Engelberg

Main Sport:
Splitboarding/Freeriding

Other hobbies/Interests:
In summer I love trekking and pitching my tent to catch some nice sunset or sunrise. I like to explore on foot, by mountaineering, traveling – preferably in my home area and in the Indian Himalayas. But I am also curious about any other place in the wilderness. To keep my best moments in memory I love taking photographs. As a designer I am committed to support some sustainable projects such as Protect our Winters Switzerland. In the Himalayas I will contribute to the Shades of Love Project as soon as the circumstances will allow it.

Background:
I grew up in the heart of Switzerland in the middle of the Alps where I still live. As soon as I could walk, my dad put me on skis and took me up on the mountain. Since childhood I am a very curious person and always very eager to learn new things. When I first tried snowboarding, I knew immediately this is going to be my passion. First I was totally into freestyle and competed for several years in halfpipe. Because I always look for a new challenge, I though soon realized that I had to find something new, something independent and without limits. It´s been eight years now since I started splitboarding and a new world has opened its doors with countless new possibilities. Not only for amazing descents, new lines, adventures on the mountain and breathtaking views but all the more in my personal growing. I learned a lot about touring in the backcountry, mountaineering, about snow, the weather, conditions, safety and how important faithful friendship is. I met a lot of amazing and inspiring people on my journey, taking me on tours, sharing their experience and teaching me skills. Also living in the Alps, having the mountains in front of my door made me learn a lot about the snow and its conditions. To witness every snowfall, weather, temperature, wind, sun and rain is the best way to be close to nature, to learn from and to live with it. It made me understand and respect the mountains even more.

Craziest adventure so far:
My second trip to the Himalayas, Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti Valleyin India (close to the border of Pakistan and Tibet) and Nepal in 2018. This journey had probably the biggest impact on me in my life and made me change and grow quite a bit. Since my first journey to the Indian Himalayas 5 years prior I had the dream to go back and climb a 7000 meter peak as well as do some splitboardtouring in the area. The land of high passes, also called little Tibet, fascinated me straight away. The unique and still remote place with its stunning landscapes, well preserved culture, its spirit, monasteries and friendly, open and humble people had immediately a strong attraction on me and it didn´t take long until it gave me the feeling of my second home. In spring 2018, I joined an expedition and went up some unknown 6000 meter peaks on my splitboard. Never have i had to grasp for air so much by riding down on a snowboard, though it was very rewarding, a unique feeling to do some first descents, to snowboard where no one else took his lines before. Later, I went on several treks on my own. Often, I didn´t meet anyone for several days, also I had no locator beacon with me nor was there any reception. So I was fully dependent on my own. The pure solitude was quite a challenge but made me being in the very present and fully aware about my surrounding. It made me feel humble and one with nature. I forgot where I came from, who I was and where my journey was going to. It took away a lot of my fears and doubts and made me stronger and more confident, with a great sense of freedom. After having spent many months on high altitude I felt I was finally ready for another expedition and to follow my dream of climbing a 7000 meter peak. Up on Mt. Nun (7150m) in Zanskar, Indian Himalayas I found myself totally exhausted and exceeding the limits of my physical and mental strengths. At the same time I was blown away by the view and the feeling of endless gratitude. I felt very fulfilled and happy about the fact that I, my body and my mind were able to reach 7000 meters and later also got safe back down.

Bucket list:
I checked off quite a lot of things on my bucket list, as I try to live my dreams. Though when climbing a peak, you see a lot more other peaks and options to climb, so the list keeps adding and never really ends. My goal in general is to improve on what I do and having fun at the same time. My dream is to become better at moutaineering and therefore become more independent and confident. In my backyard there is still plenty of things to do and explore. To realize that, I had to go far first – so I am actually very privileged to live where I live and to have the most amazing playground in front of my door which allows me to improve myself constantly and to explore without limits.

Why did you want to become a Haglöfs ambassador?
Haglöfs is a brand I can fully identify with without any compromise. I am very happy to represent Haglöfs, whose values I support as well as the philosophy, functionality and durability as well as the style and design.

Favorite gear:
Vassi

Quote you live by:
”Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

 

Simone Le Grand